A good turnout of eighteen catamaran sailors coming down to the club. Nine (9) sailing their catamarans on the day. Large catamarans ; - Paul English and Chris Malcolm racing, Les Porter testing out his flying A class preparing for A class nationals and worlds coming up in November in Hervey Bay. Small catamarans represented by Tony Zahra, Ralf Steyer, Tony Sanderson, Jody Mathews, Hugh Lewis and Bill ledger. Others attending without their craft Ross Fyfe (getting over the flu, with his new dog a rescued grey hound ), Ian Richardson (out of action for a while) also coming down to catch up. Ian advising that he has ordered a new foam WETA and once he is able is keen to sail, also that his son John might be sailing his old WETA and a few of his WETA colleagues are likely to visit during the season. Jack Kroek also coming down but had other commitments later in the afternoon. Norm and Andrew Blakey also came down talking to a number of the sailors. Tony Sanderson arriving a little later than normal due to being stuck in traffic for around an hour due to a truck incident. Rob Porter Senior, Josh Porter, Rob Porter Junior and Johnny Porter defecting to the TY’s. Rob Porter senior having sold his taipan and looking at his options. One possibly being to join up with the windrush’s, will wait and see how things work out. Whilst rigging there was plenty of discussion and catching up. A couple of strangers potential sailors? chatting to a few of the folks rigging their catamarans about purchasing a new boat. During rigging the breeze picking up and Bill getting 14 knots on his wind meter.
After a good snag on bread and briefing the crews were ready to finish discussions in the shelter of the club house then set forth to take on the elements. With the dry weather of late the lake level was down a little exposing a couple metre sand beach making shore launching fairly straight forward affair . Once launched you had to go out a fair way before putting down your rudders. A few start of season teething issues saw a couple of craft return to shore to sort out rudder and alike issues.
Barry and John setting a port course start line out between the club and Gooseberry Island, windward mark out towards the middle of the lake and wing mark down near the reef, IYC side. The start sequence getting away spot on time and the small cats seeing the experience sailors in Tony Zahra, Ralf Steyer, Bill ledger and Tony Sanderson hitting the line closely followed by Jody Mathews and then Hugh Lewis. Bill out on wire leading the way pointing well working east and making it over the top of the reef on his 14 square. Ralf on his windrush was next best positioned also out on wire but not able to point as high and tacking at the reef, Tony Zahra on White Wave was next followed by Hot Pepper, Groove Thing and Blue Tongue. Billyo overshooting the lay line allowing the pack to over take him. Dark Horse was first to the top mark followed by White Wave then a little way back Hot Pepper , Groove Thing, Billyo and Blue Tongue. A nice run back north towards the wing mark saw Groove Thing make up some ground and overtake Hot pepper. After rounding the wing mark a tight run back to the bottom mark. Most having to add an extra gybe to get down and then around the bottom mark. It was on this run to the bottom mark that an uncharacteristic error was seen from White Wave rounding the bottom mark to starboard (instead of Port) the 2 closely following Dark Horse and Groove Thing following suit. Having a bit more time to think about it Hot Pepper and Billyo rounding the bottom mark correctly to port side as did Blue Tongue. As a result of rounding on starboard side White Wave , Dark Horse and Groove Thing heading back along the northern shore towards the reef where as Hot pepper and Billyo headed south up past Gooseberry Island. Billyo out on the wire getting the better of Hot Pepper both in pointing and speed. However coming unstuck when tacking not getting through to the new windward side quick enough pulling his craft over on himself. Seeing this unfold in front of me I headed over to give Bill a hand. Chris Malcolm was also nearby calling out if we needed a hand. I release my sails and jumped in, swimming over to Bill’s craft. Bill had setup the righting rope and with my 100kg frame combined with Bill’s we were able to right his craft with a little persuasion. We then clambered aboard just as the response boat pulled up. Bill deciding after a small rest he would head back to shore. The response boat then giving me a lift over to Hot Pepper that had blown further into the shallows the rudders bumping on the sandy bottom. The response boat ran out of water and had to stop. When I jumped overboard I was surprised to find the water less than 500mm deep and had to run for around 30m - 50m to catch my boat still drifting in the breeze. This was still 100’s of metres from the shore. After catching my breath, I walked Hot Pepper back to deeper water and continued.
Due to my little adventure not sure what other racing duels occurred. Needless to say the top 3 finishing fairly closely with White Wave crossing the finish line 16:12, followed by Dark Horse 16:16 with Groove Thing hot on his heels at 16:16:30. Blue Tongue had Hot Pepper chasing on the last lap up to the top mark and back to the X and finish. Blue Tongue too good holding Hot Pepper at bay finishing 16:33 to Hot Pepper 16:34.
After being out on the water a couple of hours it was pretty hard not to shiver whilst de-rigging. The hot showers being a very welcome way to warm up again to finish off.
Paul English supplied the following words to describe the Large cats efforts "Paul on Playtime started on starboard and Chris on port. Paul beat Chris to the first mark and then once Chris set his kite to overtook Paul and kept drawing away in the light conditions finish in front by a comfortable margin even with the difference in yardstick. Paul was never the less happy with his performance in the light conditions but well done to Chris".
5/9, cool to cold, Southerly wind, Holfuy recorded 3.2 to 6.5 gusting to 9.1.
6 starters, Hugh, Jodie, Tony S Tony Z, Bill and Ralf, good start 4 on line at start, start boat had extra protection, Bill fast and high at boat end then Ralf, and the 2 Tonys’. Ralf then the Tonys’ sailed to the reef and tacked, not sure where Bill was at this stage as he would have been able to sail past the reef.
Lucky for me that the TY’s were on the way to the wing mark from the top mark as I had no idea where it was. At the top and wing marks it was Ralf then Tony Z followed by Tony S.
Tony Z managed to get in front of Ralf before the base mark and sailed towards the headland followed by Ralf and Tony, Tony Z tacked onto Port and had to pass behind Ralf who sailed slightly higher and faster, at this stage I spotted Bill at the base mark, I thought he was lost as he was taking the mark to Port, more on this later.
Tony sailed a good race getting to the top mark in front and headed towards back towards the base mark on the return leg, Tony S managed to get in front of Ralf by the time we rounded the base mark.
Final placing a Tony Z followed by Ralf 30 seconds latter then Tony S. Bill was already on shore and de-rigged. Jody and Hugh finished .....
No back to the first base mark rounding, Tony Z and I realised when we rounded after the windward return that we had gone the wrong way round the first time but decided to finish the race, Bill who had a swim sometime during the race and had to be assisted by Hugh made sure we knew about our “wrong” turn when we reached to shore.
Final placings Hugh 1st after getting 20 minutes redress for helping Bill, then Jody 2nd. Bill, DNF. Tony Z, Ralf, Tony S also scored DNF by not sailing the course correctly, just as well it was only a practice race and does not score!
- AGM in 2 weeks time 11am Saturday 22nd of September 2018. Come along and be a part of the committee.
- Thanks to all the helpers amongst many things in addition we have completed the council punch list items required before council would negotiate the new lease (due next year). (a).Hazardous substance register has been created by Trevor Dunn and resides near the blackboard in the club house. (b). New lights in club with protective covers, procured and installed by Dean Souter and tiling repairs in mens bathroom fixed up by Richard, Ralf, Frank and myself with assistance of others.
- Southern Highlands Fitzroy Dam is low and we have been approached by Southern Highlands Sailing Club as some of their sailors looking to come down to Lake Illawarra to sail.
Regards Hugh Lewis